Transfer Gossip: Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal rocked by new £148m exit clause for top attacking target; ‘concrete’ Tottenham interest in Roma centre-back

Rafael Leao (Milan) during the Italian "Serie A" match between Sassuolo 0-0 Milan at Mapei Stadium on August 30, 2022 in Reggio Emilia, Italy

Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal have seen their hopes of signing a top AC Milan star hit hard after a staggering exit clause was inserted in the attacker’s new contract, while Friday’s Transfer Gossip claims that Tottenham are making a ‘concrete move’ for a Roma centre-back.


Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal look to have lost significant leverage in their bid to sign AC Milan forward Rafael Leao this summer.

Leao, whose contract with the Rossoneri expires at the end of next season, has been closely watched by Premier League clubs for some time, with Chelsea’s interest dating back to 2019.

However, the Portugal international has finally reached an agreement with Milan over a new five-year contract that comes with a whopping €170million (£148.3million) release clause.

The Premier League trio all held out hope that a deal could be done due to Leao’s issues with former club Sporting Lisbon.

Leao was told to pay Sporting CP €20 (£17.5m) after he walked away from the club free of charge in 2018 to join Lille.

The forward’s contract with the Portuguese side was essentially terminated as he felt it was within his right to do so after the club’s training ground was stormed by supporters. However, Lille were ordered to pay Sporting compensation by the Court of Arbitration.

Leao, Sporting issue finally resolved

With the fee yet to be paid, it became a huge factor over his future. According to A Bola, as quoted by Football Italia, Chelsea pledged to pay the fine to Sporting if Leao left the Rossoneri this summer.

However, desperate to hold onto the forward’s services, the fine has finally been settled. According to French publication RMC Sport, Lille have agreed to pay Sporting, with a remaining €1million (£872,000) being left to Leao.

The report states that Milan will then reimburse 90% of the fee the French side are paying. Lille have also reportedly been guaranteed a slice of the profit on a future transfer of Leao, who did have a €100m (£87.2m) release clause in his existing contract. However, that figure will now rise £148.3m in his new deal, as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport.


Tottenham are making “concrete moves” to sign star Roma defender Roger Ibanez, according to reports out of Italy.

The north London club have made strengthening their defence and midfield a top priority this summer after being badly exposed in both areas during the second half of the campaign.

And although the club remains without a permanent manager or a sporting director, after Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici’s exits, that has not stopped them from identifying summer transfer targets.

Benfica talent-spotter Rui Pedro Braz is said to be attracting major interest from Daniel Levy, while the likes of Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique continue to be linked with the top job.

But bolstering a back line that has been woeful over recent months will be a top priority for whoever takes charge.

Crystal Palace star Marc Gueh, along with Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, are also being linked with moves to Spurs.

However, La Repubblica, via, claims that Tottenham, Newcastle and Atletico Madrid are all eyeing a move for the 24-year-old Ibanez.

It’s added that all three sides are making “concrete moves” for Ibanez, with Spurs officials even attendance to run the rule over him last Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s side named a valuation for their star defender – which is set at around £26 million – as his contract is set to expire the season after next.


Everton reportedly have a strong interest in signing Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu this summer.

Mohammed Salisu of Southampton and Rodrigo Moreno of Leeds Utd during the Premier League game at St Mary's Stadium

The Toffees are in the market for a left-sided central defender and have shortlisted Salisu as a top candidate.

The 24-year-old defender is out of contract with the Saints in 2024, and the Southampton hierarchy could be forced to sell him for a slashed price to avoid losing him for free, as reported by Football Insider.

The report adds that Saints understand that they are vulnerable to losing Salisu this summer, even if they complete a miraculous Premier League escape.

Everton could face competition for the Ghana international in the summer, with fellow relegation candidates Leicester City also keeping tabs on him, while Aston Villa have also previously been linked.

The Toffees believe that a £20million offer could be enough to seal a deal, although a potential bidding war could drive that price up.